Monday, August 11, 2008

Satisfying My Yogurt Craving

Ever since I've given up dairy products, there are certain things I miss. Thankfully, I've been able to recreate the flavor of milk by making delicious and nutritious nut milks as well as ice creams that taste very much like their dairy laden cousins. But lately I've really missed yogurt. Especially when I want a bowl of raw granola with fresh fruit....almond milk just hasn't been cutting it for me. I want that thick, creamy, tart & delicious tang. So, this morning I decided to try to whip up something that I could use as a healthy substitute and here is how my tasty experiment went. My ingredients were:
  • 1 cup of nuts soaked in one cup of water (you could use any nut, like hemp, cashew, or almond)
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds, soaked in 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp.vanilla extract (could use 1/4 vanilla bean if you have one)
  • 2 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 probiotic capsule, emptied into the mixture
  • a nice pinch of sea salt
I put the drained nuts, chia seed gel and all other ingredients into my Vita-Mix, blending and adding tablespoons of water until I reached the desired consistency. I would guess I put about 1/2 cup of water into the blender.
The flavor and texture of this mixture turned out really great! What a taste sensation to my palate! Obviously you could eat this alone, but drizzled over homemade raw granola with fresh fruit, what a delicious treat! Today I used apple chucks as my fruit because I found the most marvelous local apples from a farmer who has an orchard near Tulsa. Fresh berries are generally my favorite though. I 'm not sure how the consistency of this mixture will change once it's chilled and stays in the refrigerator for a few hours. Because of the mucilaginous nature of the chia seed, it could become to thick, but can easily thin out with the addition of a little more water.
In case you don't already know, chia seeds are one of my favorite additions to many of my recipes. The following is taken directly from an article written by Angela Stokes and I encourage you to read the article in it's entirety here.

"Chia seeds are said to have:
# 2 times the protein of any other seed or grain,
# 5 times the calcium of milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that
helps transfer calcium into your bones,
# 2 times the amount of potassium as bananas,
# 3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
# 3 times more iron than spinach
# copious amounts of omega 3 and omega 6, which are essential fatty acids...

They are a complete source of protein, providing all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form. They are also a fabulous source of soluble fibre. One advantage of chia is that because it has such a high antioxidant content, the seeds stay stable for much longer, whereas flax, for example, may turn rancid. Chia seeds can easily be stored dry for 4-5 years without deterioration in flavour, odour or nutritional value. You can substitute chia in any recipe that calls for flax.

The taste of chia is very mild and pleasant. That means you can easily combine it with other foods without changing the taste dramatically. People add chia to their sauces, bread batters, puddings, smoothies and more. The flavour is retained, plus masses more nutrition is added ;)

Chia has been called a dieter’s dream food because when added to foods, it bulks them up, displacing calories and fat without diluting the flavour. Thus, someone can eat a typical serving, yet only consume about half the calories they might have eaten, because the food has been bulked up with chia. PLUS, the eater gets a bellyful of nutrient-rich superfood goodness, which hydrates and sustains them – magic ;)

Other benefits of eating Chia?
  • Provides energy
  • Boosts strength
  • Bolsters endurance
  • Levels blood sugar
  • Induces weight loss
  • Aids intestinal regularity
You can order the amazing (and inexpensive) chia seeds from Angela and Matt Monarch's website here.


Antony Heaven said...

How delicious! Thanks so much Penni, I can't wait to try this :-)

Aimee (Bitt) said...

We love chia too! Mmm chia gel yogurt.

Linda Salas said...

pretty picture Penni!

Charley James said...

You are a genius Penni! I absolutely love chia seeds too and have been trying hard to find creative new ways to use them. Where do you buy your chia seeds?? I found a great place online called where I've been buying my seeds for a while now and they are great...just thought I'd share a good tip since I get so many great ones from you :)

Ingrid said...

Absolutely fabulous!!! I have a huge bag of chia seeds and now I have another wonderful way to use them. Thanks for this one!

Brownie said...

I too am in love with the chia seed. I try to sneak it into the family food. I made your yogurt this morning and it was very good. I put it over a big bowl of fresh rasberries. Yes, it is finally rasberry picking time in Utah! Brownie

Maggie said...

This looks really great over the fruit and granola. I love flaxseed and now I have to get some chia seed to try.

HiHoRosie said...

yumolicious!!! We have a lot of chia at home - must try.

Herryponting said...

Delicious and thanks.
Cher-Amino Predigested Liquid Protein